Breast augmentation is a form of plastic surgery that involves making the breasts appear larger or fuller as a result of implants.
People get breast augmentation procedures for a variety of reasons, including for cosmetic purposes, for reconstruction after a mastectomy, or when transitioning genders.
Many factors can affect a breast augmentation’s price, including the material used in the implants and the location of the procedure. Medical insurance won’t often cover the procedure.
If your insurer will not cover breast enlargement, you may need to pay for surgery costs yourself. This guide will explain your options.
In this guide:
- What is the Average Cost of Breast Implants?
- What Factors Affect Breast Augmentation Prices?
- What’s Included in the Cost of Breast Implants?
- Will Health Insurance Cover Breast Augmentation?
- Reasons for Getting a Breast Augmentation
What is the Average Cost of Breast Implants?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a breast augmentation procedure in 2018 was $3,824. A breast lift, on the other hand, had an average price tag of $4,816 in surgeon’s fees.
These average costs include only the money charged by plastic surgeons performing the augmentation or lifting procedure. There are additional costs for:
- Higher quality breasts implants
- Medical testing necessary before and after surgery
- Operating room fees
- Expenses related to aftercare and recovery
When adding up total costs, breast augmentation surgeries could carry a price tag of between $5,000 to $10,000, depending on various factors including the area of the country where the surgery is performed, the skill of the surgeon, and the type of implant utilized.
What Factors Affect Breast Augmentation Prices?
When you compare breast augmentation costs, there are a few key factors likely to affect the final price you’ll pay.
One of the most important factors is whether you choose saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are more affordable, but they’re often described as too firm or less natural. Silicone gel is intended to mimic the feel of natural breast tissue, but it comes with a higher price tag.
The most experienced plastic surgeons are also in higher demand, and they tend to charge more than the national average. Patients in areas with a high cost of living can also expect to pay a premium for breast augmentation surgery, as with most other expenses.
What’s Included in the Cost of Breast Implants?
Many surgeons will quote you a package price for breast augmentation procedures that includes:
- The surgeon’s fees
- The costs of the implants
- Operating room costs
- Costs of anesthesia
- Costs of medications
- Cost of pre-operative and post-operative care
It is important to understand what the fees you are being quoted include before you move forward.
Implants, operating costs, and anesthesia can add thousands onto the price beyond what your plastic surgeon charges you for his or her surgeon’s fee. Medications and the care you need in recovery can also be expensive, especially if any complications occur.
Make sure you know in advance what is covered and under what circumstances you will incur additional costs.
Will Health Insurance Cover Breast Augmentation?
Health insurance will not typically cover purely cosmetic procedures.
However, many insurance policies cover breast reconstruction that women receive after undergoing a mastectomy due to breast cancer, and some insurance policies cover breast implants received by those transitioning as part of transgender care.
The specifics of your coverage, including your coinsurance costs and deductibles, will vary from one insurance policy to the next.
You should speak with your insurer about your coverage and be prepared to appeal a claims denial if you are undergoing breast implant surgery for reasons other than pure cosmetics.
If health insurance does not cover your procedure, you may be able to finance your procedure using a variety of borrowing methods, including medical loans, personal loans for cosmetic surgery, credit cards, CareCredit, or payment plans with your doctor.
Reasons for Getting a Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation can make breasts appear fuller, firmer, and larger. Some women also undergo breast reductions to obtain a more common breast size.
Most people undergo breast augmentations because they believe that doing so will improve their looks and self-esteem, or that it will help them present themselves to the world in a preferred way.
There is no right or wrong reason to get breast augmentation—all people have the right to decide for themselves how their bodies should look and to undergo the necessary medical procedures to be happy with their appearance.
Bottom Line: Breast Augmentation Can Cost A Lot—And You May Have to Pay for It
With a price tag of $5,000 to $10,000, paying for a breast augmentation can become a burden if your insurer will not cover the procedure.
Make sure you understand the full costs of the care you’ll need before you decide to get breast implants and explore all of your financing options to find the most affordable approach to paying for your care.